It’s amazing really how well some movies can manage the passage of time and others just kind of fade out. Some folks might not want to admit it, but some of the action/adventure flicks from the 70s are actually better than some of the stuff we have available now. Why is that? A part of it is likely because the action back then was a little simpler and didn’t require such over the top special effects to keep people interested, and it allowed us to focus on the story more than on the big ‘ooh’ and ‘aahh’ moments that so many people have grown up with. Sitting down to watch some of the best movies of the 70s might not be everyone’s idea of a good time but it’s certainly worth it since several of the stories were well-written and created for audiences that wanted to see hard-hitting action and not have to worry about how the effects look, well, not as much at least. In a lot of 70s movies the effects weren’t really a big deal since the technology wasn’t there yet and, to be realistic, it wan’t such a huge part of the storytelling process yet, no matter that some movies did in fact need those effects to work.
Here are five action/adventure movies from the 70s that have managed to withstand the test of time.
5. Dirty Harry
This was one cop that you just didn’t cross since the chances of him pulling out that .44 and dealing with the issue, if it required that kind of force, were pretty good. He wasn’t the best detective in the world to be honest and he had a bit of a temper on him. But he was the kind of guy that was called in when the chips were down and they needed someone who could get the job done. In that regard Harry was the kind of guy that proved to be dependable quite often and could see thing through in a way that’s not fully appreciated at this time but is entirely effective since bad guys weren’t really given a second chance around him.
The movie definitely created a negative craze about sharks, but it did become a cult classic after a while and it did help to raise awareness about the aquatic creatures that look a lot more intimidating than they really are sometimes. It’s true that antagonizing a great white shark wouldn’t be the best idea but it’s not really accurate to think that such an animal is going to full-on attack a boat that could cause it damage in any way. Still, the idea that something that big and with the potential to be that aggressive could go berserk and sink a boat in the middle of the ocean is pretty scary.
3. Enter the Dragon
What else can you say about this movie other than it’s one of Bruce Lee’s absolute best? There’s action, adventure, deceit, and some awesome fight scenes that make it clear why Lee was such a big name in Hollywood. His legend might have been a bit tarnished over the years but he’s still considered one of the greatest martial artists to have ever walked onto the set and he’s still one of those that people look to as a great example of what it means to be a part of the martial arts. While some of his fame and his legend might have been built up in a way that made him out to be more than what he really was, this movie is still a great example of how his legend has carried over into the mainstream.
2. Star Wars: A New Hope
Ignoring a lot of fanboy talk, A New Hope is still one of the greatest Star Wars movies ever since started everything off and it did so in a way that made it clear that there was more to come. As I said above with the effects being needed for some movies, this was the case here, but the story tended to blend the effects in so nicely with each scene that it didn’t matter how impressive they were or how big. In fact, George Lucas made this movie on a shoestring budget and managed to amaze people in such a massive way that it almost feels as though the CGI and advances in technology we see today are a bit overkill.
Be honest, if you watched this movie you might feel your nerves tighten when you go camping as the expectation of hearing dueling banjos might be something that keeps you extra alert. For such a simple movie, Deliverance was one that really got to a lot of people for its content as well as its overall feel. It was undeniably creepy and there’s no doubt about the outcome and how a lot of people came to view this movie. But hey, it’s still something worth paying attention to.
Sometimes the older movies are just better.
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